Sunday, October 19, 2008

Words and Music

I decided to etch some metal yesterday. I had some thoughts and words in mind, and putting them into brass and copper seemed like a good way to fasten them down.

I am keeping one square of copper for myself, to use to make a box. The others are in the Etsy shop, they would be great on the front of a bookbinding project, or to divide to make charms.

They have words - 'HOPE' - 'FLY' - 'WINGS' - 'LAUGH' - etched and buffed into them.They look like a collage of images, with astronomical designs, leaves and vines. I was trying to make them look very vintage and antique, as though they came from an old metal tin found in the attic. As though they were in a cigar box, stored and saved to be used in a collage or assemblage art project.

There's a hint of a skeleton key outline, some sheet music behind the Eiffel Tower on the brass piece, and lots of victorian scroll designs. The words 'LAUGH'-'JOURNEY'-LOVE' - on the one copper piece would make a great front for a travel journal. All of them have etching on the back, too, but it's very faint and rustic looking similar designs on the copper. The reverse side of the brass piece is leaves, vines and scrolls, but very well-worn looking.

I got a lot of detail in the etching this time. It's unpredictable, sometimes it is very faint and other times all the complex lines show up perfectly. I don't know if it's the weather, the metal, or what makes the difference. I really wish I did know.

The brass kept its golden glow under the patina, and the copper is a warm ruddy color. Both have been polished and sealed, so the shiny and darkened parts will stay. I can think of several ways I'd like to use them, but I'm going to add them to the shop instead. I can make some more for myself later.

If you are interested in etching metal using muriatic acid and hydrogen peroxide instead of the formula used for etching copper circuit boards, be sure to read my safety tips on the sidebar on the left. It's so important to wear gloves, a heavy apron, safety glasses and closed toe shoes. And have good ventillation because the fumes are no fun, besides being not good for you to breathe.

I think I'll make a box of out the one I'm keeping, and put a patinaed skeleton key I got from Patina Queen in it, and possibly coat it all with resin. I also got some cool little Eiffel Tower brass charms from her that would work well with these. We'll see how it works out!


thebeadedlily said...

They're fabulous!

LLYYNN said...

I wish I had more time, it's so fun to create these, and I can just picture a travel journal made with them on the cover - the brass especially because it's so shiny and pretty. Maybe sometime soon I'll have a few extra hours ...